Saudi police have arrested three Yemenis for allegedly being involved in 13 ATMs robberies, Major Mohammad Al Ghamdi, spokesperson for Makkah Al Mukarramah Police, said.
“The men, in their 30s and 40s, used to trick the elderly who withdraw cash from ATMs, by claiming to offer help and replace their cards after knowing their secret numbers,” Al Ghamdi said.
He added the suspect robbers, who used low technology modus operandi instead of using skimming devices on ATMs to steal debit card details, were remanded in custody pending trial.
Police have blamed victims for the crime saying they are negligent while withdrawing cash from ATMs, banks and money exchanges.
Officials said that during investigations it has been found that victims were not as careful as they ought to be, especially after carrying out big financial transactions.
Gangs lay traps for victims
Gangs targeting bank clients use crafty methods to carry out their robberies. Police officials have revealed that thieves always invent new tricks and ways to rob bank customers.
First, they spread around bank areas and closely watch people who withdraw cash. Then they distract the victim, snatch and flee with the cash.
There are several cases in which the thieves kick their victims to force them drop the case or wallet in their hand or spit on their faces shock them in order to make away with their wallets and cash bags.
Some of them pretend to be sick and when they fall and the victim tries to help, another gang member steals the money in the car. Some also tell victims that their cash fell on ground so when the person looks down, the money is stolen.
In many cases, a gang member knocks at the car window to tell the victim that the car tyre is flat and when the victim gets out of the car, they snatch the bag and disappear with the cash.
Most gangs usually carry out their robberies during the banks’ working hours and during the day time when people approach ATMs and money exchange.
They also target workers who receive their salary at the end and beginning of each month.